Weekly Address: Celebrating Father’s Day Weekend

The President:
Hi, everybody. This Sunday is Father’s Day, and
so I wanted to take a moment to talk about the most important
job many of us will ever have – and that’s being a dad. Today we’re blessed to live in a
world where technology allows us to connect instantly with
just about anyone on the planet. But no matter how advanced
we get, there will never be a substitute for the love and
support and, most importantly, the presence of a parent
in a child’s life. And in many ways, that’s
uniquely true for fathers. I never really
knew my own father. I was raised by a single mom and
two wonderful grandparents who made incredible
sacrifices for me. And there are single parents like my mom all across the country who do a heroic job
raising terrific kids. But I still wish I had a dad
who was not only around, but involved; another role model
to teach me what my mom did her best to instill – values
like hard work and integrity; responsibility and delayed
gratification – all the things that give a child the foundation
to envision a brighter future for themselves. That’s why I try every day to be
for Michelle and my girls what my father was not
for my mother and me. And I’ve met plenty of other
people – dads and uncles and men without a family connection
– who are trying to break the cycle and give more of our young
people a strong male role model. Being a good parent – whether
you’re gay or straight; a foster parent or a grandparent
– isn’t easy. It demands your constant
attention, frequent sacrifice, and of course a healthy dose of patience. And nobody’s perfect. To this day, I’m still figuring
out how to be a better husband to my wife and
father to my kids. And I want to do what I can as
President to encourage strong marriage and strong families. We should reform our child
support laws to get more men working and engaged
with their children. And my Administration will
continue to work with the faith and other community
organizations, as well as businesses, on a campaign to
encourage strong parenting and fatherhood. Because if there’s one thing
I’ve learned along the way, it’s that all our personal
successes shine a little less brightly if we fail at family. That’s what matters most. When I look back on my life,
I won’t be thinking about any particular legislation I
passed or policy I promoted. I’ll be thinking about Michelle,
and the journey we’ve been on together. I’ll be thinking about Sasha’s
dance recitals and Malia’s tennis matches – about the
conversations we’ve had and the quiet moments we’ve shared. I’ll be thinking about whether
I did right by them, and whether they knew, every day, just
how much they were loved. That’s what I think about when I think about fatherhood. And if we can do our best to
be a source of comfort and encouragement to our kids; if we
can show them unconditional love and help them grow into the
people they were meant to be; then we will
have succeeded. Happy Father’s Day to all the
dads out there, and have a great weekend.

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